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Question About "movie" Tsmg


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#1 Bob Lamoreaux

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 08:56 AM

I was watching "Guadalcanal Diary" for the umpteenth time the other night. Nifty weapons shown, including a folding stock Reising and the US weapons "disguised" to look like Japanese small arms. BUT, does anyone know if the M1928A-1 (apparently) TSMG -- shown in some scenes in the hands of USMC and some scenes (same "scene") in the hands of Japanese -- with the "hooded" front sight survived and where it is now? I guess this was some armourer for the movies idea and creation (MGM? Stembridge?). Yet I don't recall seeing this particular piece (or the hooded front sight) for sale by either Curtis Earl (MGM guns) or Dan Shea (Stembridge guns). Just curious!
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#2 gijive

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 12:51 PM

Bob,

The Thompsons from Guadalcanal Diary were more than likely Stembridge rented guns. The ringed sight protector appears in more than a few movies over the years, including the 1967 made "The St. Valentine's Day Massacre." The sight ring would have been a removable attachment and not an integral part of the sight. I'm sure it may have been used on different guns at different times.

The Stembrdige Thompsons, according to Gordon Hergistad, were all rebarreled with current made NAC finned barrels for the movie "Dick Tracy." The origiinal Colt and 1928A1 barrels originally modified by Stembridge in the 1930's '40's and '50's were sold by Sarco a few years ago. Gordon Herigstad is currently looking for examples of these barrels and ocassionally runs ads on Sturmgewehr.com.

Hope this helps.
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#3 BASS6621

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 06:08 PM


re: 'The Stembrdige Thompsons, according to Gordon Hergistad, were all rebarreled with current made NAC finned barrels for the movie "Dick Tracy." '

My Stembridge Savage 28A1 came blanked with what I believe to be a non-NAC mil. barrel. Is Gordon referring to the Colt '21 and '28 TSMGs? How would you differentiate a NAC barrel from a mil. production barrel; Other than the presence of the "s" for a Savage bbl, how could you tell it was NAC production? I have to dig ithe old bbl out and check for other marks as I still have it. I believe it does have witness marks, but can't remember if it had any other marks.

FWIW, my barrel was blanked by a screw (w/ an allen wrench socket) that had an orifice. End of the bbl was internally threaded and the screw was threaded into the rifling. This was completely hidden by the compensator. Also the Blish lugs had been removed.

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#4 gijive

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 06:46 PM

Bass6621,

I was told this by Gordon, who apparently was told this by the current owners of Stembridge. The blank adapter you describe is the common type that the movie industry used to create blank firing machine guns. I am not claimimg that your gun or any other Stembrdige guns that were sold a few years ago are not original barrels. I am repeating what I was told by Gordon Herigstad.

The original Stembridge Thompsons had barrels that were modified years ago by flattening the barrel fins near the muzzle end of the receiver in order that a special wrench could be applied for quick barrel changes on movie sets and in the shop. I personally called Stembridge and they verified this for me. If you study old still photographs from movies in the 1940's and 1950's you can see the flattened areas on both sides of the barrel near the front. Old movies using Stembridge guns can be freeze framed on DVD and you can also see the flattened areas of the barrels. Stembridge guns were used extensively on television shows such as the The Untouchables and Combat! I have several stills from Combat! that clearly show the flattened fins.

If your barrel has the flattened area near the front it would be one of the old Stembridge barrels. The older guns used a different type of blank actually made from cut down 30.06 brass and crimped. Gordon explained to me that the older Stembridge barrel chambers were reamed to accept these specially made blanks. Problems with these blanks were quite frequent over the years and you can see several examples in movies and television shows where the guns fail to eject or misfires and the shooter continually retracts the actuator every few rounds to clear the gun.

I don't believe the Numrich/Auto-Ordnance barrels have any manufacturing marks. I am not sure about the witness mark.
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#5 BASS6621

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 01:47 PM

gijive,

Thank you for the information on the older style Stembridge blanked barrels. I was not aware of this and will look for it on some of the older movies. I have seen several actors trying to cycle their blanked TSMGs in movies and will have to look for the flat spots.

Wasn't at all thinking you were saying my blanked bbl wasn't original (in fact, I would probably say it was not the original bbl). Just wanted some clarification, if possible, on which TSMGs Gordon mentioned that might have been rebarreled with NAC bbls. I believe his focus is primarily the Colt guns, but was wondering if the rebarreling had been done to all the non-M1/M1A1s TSMGs at SGR.

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#6 gijive

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Posted 12 February 2004 - 06:46 AM

PhilOhio,

Sounds interesting! That is what Gordon was referring to about the current style blanks having a shoulder like a regular .45 cartridge and an unmodified barrel will work. The older straight walled blanks made from the 30.06 casings needed some reaming.

Thanks for the clearer explanation.
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#7 PK.

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Posted 12 February 2004 - 11:24 AM

Phil, I think you can order blank brass from Starline, ready to load & crimp. The shoulder has a radius but works fine with no sticking in the standard chamber. ’06 or 308 brass will have to be reamed.

It should be noted that the use of rose crimped blanks will ruin the barrel for use with ball ammunition. The mouth of the case expands with such violent force and the hot gas ball at that point will form an annular ring in the barrel about ¼” ahead of the chamber that will have sharply raised edges.



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